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Title: The English Writing Requirements in the First Year of a Bachelor of Communications in Oman
Contributor(s): Ball, Jennifer Susan  (author); Zhang, Zuocheng  (supervisor)orcid ; Ellis, Elizabeth  (supervisor)orcid ; Feez, Susan  (supervisor)orcid 
Conferred Date: 2021-07-07
Copyright Date: 2020-12
Open Access: Yes
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This thesis reports the findings of a textography undertaken to inform the teaching of English writing in a tertiary college in Oman. Textography was selected as the methodological approach because it provides a framework for integrating discourse analysis and ethnographic techniques in order to examine how and why texts written by students in this setting make the meanings they do. The framework included a World Englishes approach, which examines how English is used differently to meet the different needs of users across the globe, categorised according to whether they are Inner Circle, Outer Circle or Expanding Circle users of English. The underpinning theory chosen for text analysis was systemic functional linguistics, as it provides the tools for theorising the relationships between texts and contexts. The texts examined were authentic samples of student assessment writing. These were contextualised with reference to teacher interviews, college and Oman Ministry of Education documents as well as researcher observations recorded in notes and pictures.

The study demonstrated that textography was an approach particularly well-suited to the requirements of teacher researchers working in Gulf Cooperation Council countries such as Oman where English is used as a medium of instruction in tertiary institutions. A model was developed for use by teachers to manage analysis of the range of data they can collect in a textography. The findings bring into question the delivery of "contentless" English for academic purposes programs in English-medium instruction contexts and suggest that closer cooperation between English Departments and departments teaching other disciplines is required to align the types of texts students are taught in the English Program with those they will be required to engage with in their discipline studies.

A further finding is that contrary to many reports in the literature, the students in this study appeared to be supported by their Arabic literacy skills and were able to transfer these effectively to English writing. Those teachers who had Arabic language skills also used them to good effect in their teaching with no apparent negative effect on the English language learning of their students. As a result, one of the recommendations expressed in this thesis is that translanguaging should be leveraged in English-medium instruction environments and that further research should be conducted into supporting the use of translanguaging by students and teachers. It is hoped that this insight will contribute to the research field of student academic writing genres in tertiary contexts where English is used as a medium of instruction.

Publication Type: Thesis Doctoral
Fields of Research (FoR) 2020: 390108 LOTE, ESL and TESOL curriculum and pedagogy
390303 Higher education
470401 Applied linguistics and educational linguistics
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2008: 930199 Learner and Learning not elsewhere classified
930403 School/Institution Policies and Development
939903 Equity and Access to Education
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2020: 160199 Learner and learning not elsewhere classified
160205 Policies and development
160201 Equity and access to education
HERDC Category Description: T2 Thesis - Doctorate by Research
Appears in Collections:School of Education
School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences
Thesis Doctoral

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